Racers Ashwin, Arjun impress in second round of Nationals

Coimbatore, June 23 Teenager Ashwin Datta and Arjun Balu delivered standout victories in the MRF F1600 and Indian Touring Cars categories, respectively, to set alight the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci national racing championship at the Kari Motor Speedway, here on Saturday.

Also notching wins were Bengaluru's Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) in the Super Stock class, Chris D'Souza (Unimek Racing) from Goa (Indian Junior Touring Cars) and Erode's Vinod S (Team N1) in the Esteem Cup.

The trio emerged unscathed from an incident-filled race of combined 16-car grid that witnessed two safety car periods.

The two Formula LGB 1300 races witnessed close competition with Sohil Shah (MSport) from Bengaluru winning the first outing after a hectic scrap with teammate Nabil Hussain from Chennai while Ashwin Datta took the second race that witnessed a couple of crashes, but drivers escaping unhurt.

Datta, 19, drove brilliantly after dropping from second to fourth and overtook three cars to jump to the front before eventually winning the race.

In sharp contrast, Datta earlier enjoyed an untroubled ride to victory in the first of the three MRF F1600 races scheduled for the weekend.

Having started from pole position, Datta drove a near-flawless race to win by the proverbial country mile. Behind him, Raghul Rangasamy, hailing from the temple town of Mamallapuram, fought his way to second spot ahead of Chennai's Nirmal Umashanker.

The remaining two races will be run on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Kolhapur's Dhruv Mohite put in a commanding performance to win the Volkswagen Ameo Cup race, initially losing track position after starting from pole.

Finishing second behind him were Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad), who led briefly, and Thane lad Saurav Bandyopadhyay.

For 43-year old Balu from Coimbatore, it was a comfortable lights-to-flag victory.

Starting from pole position, he gradually built up a sizeable lead with Ashish Ramaswamy (ARKA Motorsports) and veteran Vidyaprakash (Prime Racing) in tow.

However, Ashish, winner of two races in the first round in February, retired after his engine expired and it allowed Vidyaprakash and team-mate B Vijayakumar, also from Coimbatore, to second and third positions which they maintained till the finish.

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